ASME-Landmark:T.V. Emery Rice Steam Engine


During the nineteenth-century transition from sail to steam, the poorly armored screw-propelled warships were given engines of low profile, fitting below the waterline for protection of vital parts. The horizontal compound engine of the training vessel (T.V.) Emery Rice is a unique survivor typical of the period 1840 to 1880. The 61-ton back-acting engine has an unconventional configuration in that its two cranks lie close to their cylinders and two off-center piston rods straddle the crank-shaft in a cramped, but efficient, arrangement.

The cylinder bores are 28.5 and 42.5 inches. The stroke is 42 inches. With saturated steam at 80 pounds per square inch gauge and a condenser having 26-inch mercury vacuum, 560 indicated horsepower were produced at 64 revolutions per minute.

The engine was designed by the bureau of steam engineering of the U.S. Navy and built by John Roach & Sons of Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1873. It began its long career in the USS Ranger, an iron gunboat rigged as three-masted barque and commissioned in 1876. In 1909, the U.S.S. Ranger was transferred to the Massachusetts Nautical Training School and was successively known as Rockport, Nantucket, and Bay State. The ship was again renamed in 1942 to honor Captain Emery Rice, an 1897 graduate of the Massachusetts Nautical Training School who served with distinction in both the Spanish-American War and World War I.

In 1958, the ship was scrapped, but her historic engine was preserved and is on display at the American Merchant Marine Museum of Kings Point, New York. See ASME website for more information